Pac-10 Preview: Week 2

One week is not enough to make the best judgment on how good the conference is going to be, but there were a few very impressive performances. Overall the conference was 6-2 against non-conference opponents, but was just 1-2 against the SEC.

1. USC 1-0
Everyone wanted to see the Trojans stumble. Didn't happen. Instead they kicked the crud out of a team that should be a bowl team. 50-14 on the road in the SEC is impressive no matter how you spin it.

2. Oregon 1-0
1-0 in the Pac-10, the Ducks looked really good. A 48-10 win either means the Ducks are very good or the Cardinal are really bad. In reality it is probably both. Jonathan Stewart served notice that he wants to be considered one of the best backs in the Pac.

3. UCLA 1-0
The Bruins handled a solid Utah team, but we are a few weeks away from knowing how good these guys really are. Is Utah the best team in the MWC or just another decent non-BCS team? The really good news? Ben Olson looked as good as advertised with his 318-yard, three touchdown performance.

4. Oregon State 1-0
The opponent was not impressive, even if the win was. Eastern Washington is just a D-IAA team, but the Beavers did not mess around in a 56-17 win.

5. Arizona 1-0
The Wildcats were not impressive offensively, but turned a lot of heads by shutting down a pretty good BYU offense. More importantly, the Cats found a way to win. Things get a lot more difficult against LSU.

6. ASU 1-0
The Devils struggled for a bit against a vastly inferior opponent, but got it going late in the game. Normally a 35-14 win is a good thing, but you'd expect a little more from a team picked to finish near the top of the conference.

7. Washington 1-0
Good news is that the Huskies got a win. The bad news is that they could not put away a San Jose State team that is not rated very high.

8. Cal 0-1
Cal did not look very good against Tennessee, but playing in Knoxville is never easy. Now that they are no longer dark horse candidates for the national championship how will they fare?

9. Washington State 0-1
The Cougars hung around as long as they could against a top-5 opponent, but in the end Auburn was just too tough and cruised to a victory.

10. Stanford
The Card got beat down by the Ducks. Autzen is never an easy place to play, but after the first quarter it was all Oregon.

THIS WEEK'S GAMES:

Oregon State at Boise State
Do the Beavers play on Saturdays? They get the only Thursday match-up with a trip to Boise and a chance to play on the Smurf Turf. Neither team was tested in week one against D-IAA teams and now we get to see how good either of these teams can be.

Washington at Oklahoma
A decade ago this would have been a marquee match-up, now we get to learn a lot about two storied programs who are in different places. The Huskies squeaked out a tough win against an okay at best San Jose State team. The Sooners struggled with a UAB team that is solid, but should not have been within a touchdown. Can OU put away a rebuilding UW team or will the Dawgs show just how much progress has been made in Seattle.

Idaho at Washington State
Denis Erickson takes the pesky Vandals to Pullman, a place he essentially put on the map. Idaho gave Michigan State all they could handle a week ago, while the Cougs were being throttled by an awesome Auburn team. This is a good test for WSU, but they need a win here or it could be a long year in the Palouse.

Stanford at San Jose State
Dick Tomey gets another shot at a Pac-10 club. This time the Spartans are at home against fellow Bay Area rivals the Cardinal. The Spartans played tough against Washington and now want to beat a Stanford team that did not look very good against Oregon, but hope to rebound this week and get a much needed win.

Minnesota at Cal
The Bears get a chance at a little national redemption against a Big 10 team. Minnesota is not a top-three team in their league, but they are a bowl caliber team. Cal's national title hopes are done, but they can still be a very good team with some improved quarterback play.

Oregon at Fresno State
Give the Ducks credit. Not only do they schedule the giant killers from Fresno, but they will go to their home. This is a game that, with a win, could catapult the Ducks into the top-15. It will be no easy feat, but the Ducks looked great against Stanford in week one.

Nevada at Arizona State
The Devils did not look good against NAU and will have to play a lot better to beat a Nevada team that has been known to give scares to some solid programs. This one should have a lot of offense and we should get a better feel for where ASU is really at.

Rice at UCLA
The Bruins should win here, which could give them another shot of confidence heading into a bye week. With Washington and Stanford up next, it is not inconceivable that the Bruins could be 4-0 when they host the Wildcats in October.

Arizona at LSU
We'll cover this one in depth over the next few days, but the Cats would love to help the conference even their season record with the SEC. It will be difficult as LSU is not only good, but hosting this one in front of 95,000.


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